Runner up image courtesy of Brenda Vaiani
Third position image courtesy of Tom Law
“What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce”. ― Karl Lagerfeld
Last month we asked you to capture your Times of Life, and the results were breath-taking – Times of reflection, times of joy, the first moments of a new life, the silent nothingness of a death. It was one of our best shortlists yet (and hardest to choose) but Vincent Fournier selected Yovcho Gorchev’s stunning image of a girl lost in her dreams as his favourite. See the full shortlist on our Facebook page, and join in the conversation. All images below © Yovcho Gorchev
We caught up with Yovcho to ask him a little bit more about the image, his motivations and how you juggle photography, architecture and film making…
Yovcho, congratulations on winning Life Framer month 11: Times of Life. What drew you to the contest?
Thank you very much! What captured my attention about entering Life Framer’s competition were mainly two things: the first looking at the previous winners, I think the quality of work was outstanding and the second – the unique idea of 12 different months (themes) all culminating in an exhibition at the end.
We look forward to displaying your image at theprintspace in London. Have you been exhibited before?
I am very honoured to take part in it. I have been exhibited before in London through FOTO8 gallery and also in New York and Hong Kong through Lumen Galleries.
How would you describe your photographic style?
I think I am very much in the beginning stages of searching for it, while trying different techniques and situations.
1. Alice in Wonderland
2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
We understand that you have qualifications in both Architecture and Film Design, and are a photographer, film maker and artist. How do you reconcile all of this, and where does your focus lie?
From the Architectural studies I took interest in the conceptual approach and nature of the course – the body image, its movement and spatial relation to the surrounding environment, while from the Film Design course I was interested in how to construct, convey and channel particular emotions, to bring forth the cinematic qualities of our everyday lives.
I see a broad range of styles in your work – often built around playing with light but covering fashion, fine art, travel and even surrealism. Tell us about how you work…
I guess based on the above mentioned interests my focus now lies in portraying characters, spaces, systems and atmospheres navigated through surreal scenarios and unlikely narratives. It is impossible not to be inspired at least 100 times a day by the things you see, based on the way culture is evolving and the way that we are drowned in audio-visual stimuli. At the beginning all this seemed very frustrating to me, the thirst to see everything that comes out, to read everything, but slowly through the realisation that it is impossible, let alone counter productive, I have become more composed and this helps me focus on a certain idea or project. I guess a sense of humility and self-irony is important in the ocean of creativity that seems more like being stuck in a vicious storm than a castaway on a tropical paradise.
Tell us about one of your series…
Recently I’ve been interested in the importance of humour. The playful, childlike curiosity and approach to life is probably the only thing I wish to take seriously, no pun intended. I think it looks easy and superficial on the surface and is not considered art but nonetheless I find it much more important. For example when you think of Cannes film festival you are not immediately thinking of screening theatres packed with laughter. So in this sense I started doing a small project aside that attempts to use well known sayings, phrases, hashtags, titles of books, movies, etc. and to portray them in a light-hearted manner. In the same way I try to immerse myself in similar situations and with all this constructed mainly around a point-and-shoot mentality while observing the outcome later. I guess it emerged from my fascination of how certain images or even series in contemporary photography are labelled Untitled 1,2,3, etc, as if no words are important, while others are carefully constructed titles, as if the images become secondary and the wording is all that matters. (LF – see photo 1 to 5)
What would be your dream photographic assignment?
Not trying to dodge the question but I suppose it has to be something unrealistic. There is a very good sequence in the movie “ The life of David Gale” so here I would just like to borrow and use some of its lines for the purpose of answering the question. “Fantasies have to be unrealistic because the moment, the second that you get what you seek, you don’t, you can’t want it anymore. In order to continue to exist, desire must have its objects perpetually absent. It’s not the “it” that you want, it’s the fantasy of “it.”…This is what Pascal means when he says that we are only truly happy when daydreaming about future happiness. Or why we say the hunt is sweeter than the kill. Or be careful what you wish for. Not because you’ll get it, but because you’re doomed not to want it once you do. So the lesson of Lacan is, living by your wants will never make you happy. What it means to be fully human is to strive to live by ideas and ideals and not to measure your life by what you’ve attained in terms of your desires but those small moments of integrity, compassion, rationality, even self-sacrifice. Because in the end, the only way that we can measure the significance of our own lives is by valuing the lives of others.”
Do you have a favourite image? What is it about this one?
No. It is a constant flux, everyday it is something different.
beyond the black rainbow
king of the wind
Were there any other shortlisted images that stood out to you?
As I said I was drawn to the competition based on the fantastic range of photos and would like to congratulate all on their memorable images. As for particular ones from the Times of Life theme that most resonate with my own visual aesthetics are the images by Giulia Bersani, James Theophane, Joris Hermans and Kelsey Austin Walsh.
What’s the most important thing photography has taught you?
To appreciate and have respect for the way others see and experience the world, to realise how universal the human condition is and at the same time how innately different our destinies are.
What are your plans for the future? Where can you imagine your art going?
First and foremost to meet more like-minded people, to collaborate on new projects and to give fruition to some of my video ideas.
Thank you Yocho, best of luck and see you in London for the show!
This month’s call for talent is an “OPEN CALL”. Like Yocho did last month, head here to enter the award… It’s a great opportunity to have your work reviewed by an acclaimed international photographer and exposed in a modern London gallery, as well as winning cash prizes, a Viewbook portfolio and online exposure.